New Books in Medicine

New Books in Medicine

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675 Episodes
Interviews with Scholars of Medicine about their New BookSupport our show by becoming a premium member!
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675 Episodes

The process of manipulating the genetic material of one animal to include the DNA of another creates a new transgenic organism. Several animals, notably goats, mice, sheep, and cattle are now genetically modified in this way. InOur Transgenic Future: Spider Goats, Genetic Modification, and the Will to Change Nature(NYU Press, 2022),Lisa Jean Moore wonders what such scientific advances portend. Will the natural world become so modified that it ceases to exist? After turning species into hybrids, can we ever get back to the original, or are they forever lost? Does genetic manipulation make better lives possible, and if so, for whom? Moore centers the story on goats that have been engineered by the US military and civilian scientists using the DNA of spiders. The goat’s milk contains a spider-silk protein fiber; it can be spun into ultra-strong fabric that can be used to manufacture lightweight military body armor. Researchers also hope the transgenically produced spider silk will revolutionize medicine with biocompatible medical inserts such as prosthetics and bandages. Based on in-depth research with spiders in Florida and transgenic goats in Utah,OurTransgenic Futurefocuses on how these spider goats came into existence, the researchers who maintain them, the funders who have made their lives possible, and how they fit into the larger science of transgenics and synthetics. This book is a fascinating story about the possibilities of science and the likely futures that may come. Rachel Pagones is an acupuncturist, educator, and author based in Cambridge, England. Her book,Acupuncture as Revolution: Suffering, Liberation, and Love(Brevis Press) was published in 2021. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

Genome sequencing is one of the most exciting scientific breakthroughs of the past thirty years. But what precisely does it involve and how is it developing? InGenomics: How Genome Sequencing Will Change Healthcare(Random House, 2022), Rachael Pells explains the science behind genomics. She analyses its practical applications in medical diagnosis and the treatment of conditions that range from cancer to severe allergic reactions to cystic fibrosis. She considers its potential to help with advances in agriculture and environmental science. She explores the ethics of genetic modification and the dangers involved when humans 'play God'. And she addresses the fundamental question: to what extent will future advances transform human longevity and the quality of life. Galina Limorenko is a doctoral candidate in Neuroscience with a focus on biochemistry and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases at EPFL in Switzerland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

The story of DDT as you’ve never heard it before: a fresh look at the much-maligned chemical compound as a cautionary tale of how powerful corporations have stoked the flames of science denialism for their own benefit In the 1940s, DDT helped the Allies win the Second World War by wiping out the insects that caused malaria, with seemingly no ill effects on humans. After the war, it was sprayed willy-nilly across fields, in dairy barns, and even in people's homes. Thirty years later the U.S. would ban the use of DDT—only to reverse the ban in the 1990s when calls arose to bring it back to fight West Nile and malaria. What changed? How to Sell a Poison: The Rise, Fall, and Toxic Return of DDT(Bold Type Books, 2022)traces the surprising history of DDT’s rapid rise, infamous fall, and controversial revival to reveal to show that we’ve been taking the wrong lesson from DDT’s cautionary tale. Historian Elena Conis uncovers new evidence that it was not the shift in public opinion following the publication of Rachel Carson’sSilent Springthat led to the ban but in fact the behind-the-scenes political machinations of Big Business. She makes a compelling case that the real threat was not DDT itself but the prioritization of profits over public health. ​ If we don't change the ways we make decisions about new scientific discoveries and technologies, Conis argues, we’re doomed to keep making the same mistakes and putting people at risk—both by withholding technologies that could help them and by exposing them to dangerous chemicals without their knowledge or consent. In an age when corporations and politicians are shaping our world behind closed doors and deliberately stoking misinformation around public health issues, from pesticides to vaccines to COVID-19 to climate change, we need greater transparency and a new way of communicating about science—as a discipline of discovery that's constantly evolving, rather than a finite and immutable collection of facts—in order to combat the war on facts and protect ourselves and our environment. Claire Clarkis a medical educator, historian of medicine, and associate professor in the University of Kentucky’s College of Medicine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

Childbirth defines families, communities, and nations. In Birthing the West, Jennifer J. Hill fills the silences around historical reproduction with copious new evidence and an enticing narrative, describing a process of settlement in the American West that depended on the nurturing connections of reproductive caregivers and the authority of mothers over birth. Economic and cultural development depended on childbirth. Hill’s expanded vision suggests that the mantra of cattle drives and military campaigns leaves out essential events and falls far short of an accurate representation of American expansion. The picture that emerges in Birthing the West presents a more complete understanding of the American West: no less moving or engaging than the typical stories of extraction and exploration but concurrently intriguing and complex. Birthing the West: Mothers and Midwives in the Rockies and Plains(U Nebraska Press, 2022) unearths the woman-centric practice of childbirth across Montana, the Dakotas, and Wyoming, a region known as a death zone for pregnant women and their infants. As public health entities struggled to establish authority over its isolated inhabitants, they collaborated with physicians, eroding the power and control of mothers and midwives. The transition from home to hospital and from midwife to doctor created a dramatic shift in the intimately personal act of birth. Jennifer J. Hill is an associate teaching professor of American studies at Montana State University and serves as the executive director of the Women’s Reproductive History Alliance, a digital museum dedicated to educating the public on reproductive history. Troy A. Hallsell is the 341st Missile Wing Historian at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. The ideas represented in this podcast do not reflect the 341st Missile Wing, United States Air Force, or the Department of Defense. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

Managing diabetes often feels daunting and challenging.Conquer Your Diabetescomprehensively covers the best approaches to prevention, control and remission of this condition, and provides a roadmap for people with diabetes to live rewarding and fulfilling lives. Drs. Abrahamson and Chopra are renowned master clinicians and teachers at Harvard Medical School, with decades of extensive clinical experience. The global epidemic of diabetes and prediabetes afflicts more than 1 billion people. Sadly, more than 50% of people with diabetes do not achieve their desired glucose control. Moreover, less than 25% achieve their blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose goals. In 25 succinct chapters, the authors put all the pieces of the diabetes puzzle together, including a concise history of the disease, underlying types and causes, prediabetes, obesity, weight loss, pregnancy, mental health, type 2 diabetes prevention and remission, and latest treatments. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit ...

The last few years have brought to the fore the brilliant work of scientists as they worked to find a vaccine for Covid-19. But have you ever stopped to think about the role of biological materials in this and other science- and health-related research? In this episode ofSSEAC Stories, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Associate Professor Sonja van Wichelen to take a close look at the complex world of global health governance, with a particular focus on biotechnology and bioscience governance in Indonesia. They discuss the crucial role of biological materials exchange for scientific research, what rules govern their use, and the history of inequality that has underpinned scientific use of biological materials. Taking Indonesia’s recent efforts to gain leverage in the uneven space of the global bioeconomy, they explore how bioscience governance mechanisms can perpetuate, or sometimes help address, global power inequalities in the way biological material is used. About Sonja van Wichele...

“Vaccine: The Human Story” is a podcast and video series that tells the story of the global fight against smallpox, from its earliest history as a folk demon, to the birth of the anti-vax movement, through to its eradication in the 1960s. It is written and hosted by Dr.Annie Kelly. Dr. Kelly, a specialist in antifeminism, conspiracy theories and the far right, earned her doctorate in American Studies in 2020 from the University of East Anglia. Her dissertation is entitled: “Fear, Hate and Countersubversion: American Antifeminism Online”. She specializes in research related to contemporary social movements, digital discourse analysis and their relation to race, gender and sexuality in American politics. Her writings have appeared inThe New York Timesand since 2019 she has been the UK correspondent for “QAnon Anonymous”, whichThe Washington Postnamed “Podcast of the Year”. Dr. Kelly is currently a postdoctoral researcher with “Everything Is Connected: Conspiracy Theories in t...

Sarah Fox'sfascinating new bookGiving Birth in Eighteenth-Century England(U London Press, 2022)rewrites all that we know about eighteenth-century childbirth by placing women’s voices at the center of the story. Examining childbirth from the perspective of the birthing woman, this research offers new perspectives on the history of the family, the social history of medicine, community and neighborhood studies, and the study of women’s lives in eighteenth-century England. From “quickening” through to “confinement,” “giving caudle,” delivery, and “lying-in,” birth was once a complex ritual that involved entire communities. Drawing on an extensive and under-researched body of materials, such as letters, diaries, and recipe books, this book offers critical new perspectives on the history of the family, community, and the lives of women in the coming age of modern medicine. It unpacks the rituals of contemporary childbirth—from foods traditionally eaten before and after birth, b...

InBotanical Ecstasies: Psychoactive Plant Formulas in India and Beyond, Dr Matthew Clark proposes thatsoma/hoamais instead an ayahuasca-like plant complex made from many different species. He discusses a range of candidates that reliably grow in the right areas and which in combination might produce an effect similar to the so-called 'classic' psychedelics. These early ecstatic experiences, he suggests, contributed to the emergent concept and ritual techniques of mysticism. Raj Balkaran is a scholar, online educator, and life coach. For information Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

Commodities of Care: The Business of HIV Testing in China(U Minnesota Press, 2021) examines the unanticipated effects of global health interventions, ideas, and practices as they unfold in communities of men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Targeted for the scaling-up of HIV testing, Elsa L. Fan examines how the impact of this initiative has transformed these men from subjects of care into commodities of care: through the use of performance-based financing tied to HIV testing, MSM have become a source of economic and political capital. In ethnographic detail, Fan shows how this particular program, ushered in by global health donors, became the prevailing strategy to control the epidemic in China in the late 2000s. Fan examines the implementation of MSM testing and its effects among these men, arguing that the intervention produced new markets of men, driven by the push to meet testing metrics. Fan shows how men who have sex with men in China came to see themselves as part of a global MSM category, adopting new selfhoods and socialities inextricably tied to HIV and to testing. Wider trends in global health programming have shaped national public health responses in China and, this book reveals, have radically altered the ways health, disease, and care are addressed. Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi’i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”.For more about his work, see Learn more about your ad choices. Visit Support our show by becoming a premium member!

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